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THE SITE & FOUNDATIONS
I cleared an area next to my current carports, and not too far from my workshop. I tried to retain as many of the indigenous trees close-by, so that the shed would be surrounded by forest. As I decided to build a steel frame structure, I went with strip foundations, with anchor bolt cages for the steel columns sunk into footings. I poured readymix concrete into the footings and strip foundations.
Creating the right workspace
A nut-and-bolt restoration on an old vehicle is a mammoth task, and typically spans over many years. A vehicle that takes up a single garage area when intact consumes a small football field when stripped down into its various parts and sub-assemblies. Furthermore, the various tools, equipment and facilities required to do a decent job need to be housed in a user-friendly and organised workspace, else the project will just become frustrating, not only for yourself but for your family that has to ensure this ordeal with you.
Whilst I am blessed with having a large property (a smallholding outside Pretoria, South Africa), with a fairly decent workshop area, I really felt a dedicated project shed would be most appropriate for such a project. I thus decided to clear an area near my workshop to erect "The Shed"...
STEEL WORK & FLOOR
Steel sections were premanufactured on the ground, then bolted together in position. The floor was cast using timber forms and readymix concrete. The floor was cast in six sections, three at a time.
We went with a strong industrial look, but tried to make it blend in with the environment as much as possible. Corrugated iron wall cladding over raw brick was the main design element, with steel doors and windows to let in light and fresh air.
Two large swing doors, steel clad, were installed and automated to give easy access in and out of the shed. The shed is large enough to house four vehicles, two wide and two deep.
We considered epoxy coating, painting, tiling, and various other floor finishes, but in the end decided on a PVC interlocking floor tile. The effect is brilliant, and the surface is ideal for this type of project, as one can drop all sorts of heavy objects onto the floor without it chipping or scratching. If you should damage the floor somehow, one can easily just clip out the affected tile and replace it with a new one.
Whilst the project shed is not finished (will it ever be!?), it has become a very comfortable and practical space to carry out the project. I still need to add workbenches (and the obligatory coffee machine!), but I now think I have a space befitting such a project!
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